to hear melody and read the lyrics follow these link to Botany Bay, courtesy: Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra, Soloist: Mirusia Louwerse
Farewell to old England forever
Farewell to my old pals as well
Farewell to the well known old Baillee
Where I once used to be such a swell.
This is classic Australiana and historically it applies to those who sailed the seas to a land that became a dumping ground for ‘the light finger’d gentry’. Before Australia there was America until they rebelled and brought on the War of Independence. This common bond endures until today.
Unlike Australia, New Zealand was classic colonisation, where cities like Christchurch in the South Island are so English that they have long worn the accolade ‘more English than England.' Whereas Australians are outgoing, warm and often project a brashness, New Zealander’s are mildly conservative, friendly and quite achievers. They could be taken for Canadians except they have an accent. New Zealand is among the more socially advanced countries in the world.
Long before the colonisation of both countries there were the aborigines. In Australia the Aboriginals have roamed the vast island continent for a reputed 40.000 years. They go back to prehistoric times with many traditional ceremonies still practiced. Whilst it is not politically correct to say so many remain by our standards primitive. Patronising politics still practiced. Today many have made it into public life and almost without exception have come from mixed marriages. The New Zealand Maori comes from a Polynesian heritage, is essentially a warrior race, proud often defiant and as early settlers were largely farmers, growing and cultivating from the land. However though they landed a 1000 years ago they were not the original inhabitants. These people were Moriori. A placid race they were hunted to extinction; the final one dying in NZ in the nineteen-thirties.
In earlier time and largely because of their isolation both countries were producers and manufacturers. Only major machinery, plant and specialised items were brought in from places like Britain, Germany and the USA. Over the years many original national brands were taken over by multi-nationals, until to day few remain. As the global economy has become more integrated, so too have we become importers, a fact that many of the older people lament. This of course has become more widespread today.
We live and remain in isolation demographically, but modern transport and communications have shrunk the tyranny of distance.
Tourism particularly in early New Zealand and in more recent times in Australia have become major industries. Both countries have beauty and scenic wonders in their own right, both compliment each other.
From Rutherford to Hillary, from Phar Lap to Cardigan Bay, from the All Blacks to Olympic Champions, New Zealand have always punched above their weight. Australia with Sir Mark Oliphant, with Don Bradman, to the great Tulloch have produced many who have walked the world stage. Both countries are tied by the bond of ANZAC (Australian New Zealand Army Corp), yet both remain the fiercest of rivals. We are cousins across the ditch, we are the countries from ‘down-under’. Come visit us.
*Since writing this Christchurch has been rocked by two devastating earthquakes. The first in September 4 th 2011, that did severe damage and happened very early in the morning with no casualties. The second that occurred in February 22nd 2012, rocked the central city at 12 51pm, with 169 people losing their lives. The city that I knew, loved and spent 30 year of my life has gone. (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Christchurch_earthquake)